Memphis kicks off spring with its signature festival “Memphis in May,” a month long celebration that includes a music festival on Beale Street (May 3-5), a World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest (May 16-18), and an evening with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra at Tom Lee Park (May 25). Many southern cities take great pride on their barbecue. Memphis has its own style, and after tasting it, you too will be hooked. There are many barbecue-joints to choose from; our favorites are Rendezvous and Blues City Café. Memphis is rich in musical history, with Elvis Presley, the King of Rock n’ Roll as its most famous resident.
Here’s a list of places to visit while in the Memphis area:
Memphis Botanic Garden
Spring is a wonderful time to stop and smell the roses at the Memphis Botanic Garden! Enjoy the beauty and the tranquility of the lakes, woodlands and display gardens. Flowers in bloom include the Japanese Cherry in mid-March, dogwoods and azaleas in April, and roses and hydrangeas in May.
Elvis Presley’s Graceland
A visit to Memphis won’t be complete without a pilgrimage to Graceland, one of the most famous landmark in Memphis. A tour of Graceland, Elvis Presley’s home, will showcase The King’s life, from his humble beginnings to superstardom, complete with personal and career mementoes, movie memorabilia, stage costumes and his extensive collection of awards. Did you know that his three Grammy awards were for Gospel recordings? This year, Graceland will feature two new exhibits – “Elvis’ Hawaii: Concerts, Movies and More!” and “Elvis: Live from Vegas.”
As you stroll along Beale Street, you can feel the energy flowing as the sound of blues, jazz, and rock and roll emanates from the clubs and bars. Check out one of the clubs to enjoy the music of Elvis, performed by an Elvis impersonator. Blues fans need to stop at B.B. King’s Blues Club for some excellent blues music, and southern food (fried pickles, anyone?)
Mud Island River Park
Conveniently located in downtown Memphis, this fifty-two acre attraction showcases the Mississippi River in a unique, fun and educational way. A museum chronicles the history of the Mississippi River, the early settlers and explorers, and the mode of transportation from canoes to steamboats to current day towboats and barges. Another interesting exhibit is the origins of the Blues and its influence on other types of music like Jazz and Rock-N-Roll. The River Walk is a 5-block long replica of the lower Mississippi River and its tributaries, beginning in Cairo, Illinois and ending in New Orleans, Louisiana. Take the journey down the river and learn about the geography, the history and the events that occurred along the waterway. This lovely walk concludes at the Gulf of Mexico, where visitors can enjoy a pedal boat ride overlooking the skyline of Memphis.
The Peabody Hotel and the March of the ducks
Families with kids will have fun watching the ducks as they march into the fountain at the Peabody Hotel’s grand lobby. An unusual attraction for sure, but the Peabody Ducks have been a tradition at the hotel since 1932.
Main Street Trolley
The best way to see the historic town and neighborhoods is to ride the authentic vintage trolley. The Riverfront Loop offers a breathtaking view of the mighty Mississippi River as it meanders up and around the bluff.
If you have the time, and are looking for a complete change of pace, check out Tunica. An hour’s drive south through rural countryside and cotton farms, Tunica is the third largest gaming region after Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Casinos are famous for their sumptuous buffets, and Tunica is no different. Several casinos in Tunica serve up some delectable Southern fare.
Tunica County Chamber of Commerce
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